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The season finale of The Walking Dead has aired and with it we have the much  anticipated arrival of Negan, head honcho of the Saviors. The rumors have been flying for  months and the internet has been a buzz with fan theories of who will meet their untimely fate.

Comic fans have been looking forward to Negan’s arrival with almost bated breath; almost  immediately people began to hypothesize if the comic death of [REDACTED] would be fulfilled in the  television show or if the producers would throw us another curve. After the dead or alive teaser  of [REDACTED] in the midseason finale it only spun the theories more out of control. Now that Negan is  here did the episode live up to the hype?
Last winter when Jeffrey Dean Morgan was announced as joining the cast of The Walking Dead in the role of Negan, the internet blew up. Speculation ran rampant as to which of our favorite characters would meet their end at his hands, or more appropriately with his trusty sidekick Lucille. Glenn was the obvious go to since his character in the comics died in exactly that way. Speculation moved to Daryl, primarily because his character is not in the comics and  he has become the fast fan favorite. More recently Maggie has come up as a possibility, she’s pregnant and things were moving along nicely for herself and Glenn up til this point. Andrew  Lincoln’s (Rick) statements of feeling “sick” and “not wanting to go to set” regarding his reactions to this season have only fueled the fire. The finale has aired, Negan has arrived, swinging Lucille by his side. Our questions though have only multiplied.

Negan threatened our entire crew, by the end of the episode almost all our heros were lined up for him. Rick had taken his son Carl, Abraham, Aaron, Sasha and Eugene in the RV to help him deliver a possibly miscarrying Maggie to the Hilltop for medical service. Last week had left us with a captured Glenn, Rosita, Michonne and Daryl – if Daryl survived his gunshot. By the time Rick’s crew avoids the Saviors at literally every turn it is nightfall and they are barely any closer to the Hilltop. Eugene is the bait to draw them off, but quickly that fails and our loyal gang is put to their knees surrounded by dozens of Saviors with their vehicles, and Eugene’s RV. The saviors are equally quick to add a bloody and beaten Eugene to the lineup. A vehicle opens and an alive but badly wounded Daryl spills out, and with that the last four of our group are added to the mix. Carol and Morgan are the only ones missing from the group, after Carol’s crisis of faith
and her abandonment of Alexandria followed by Morgan’s chase after her.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan makes his first appearance as our illustrious villain, and seems to ham the role up very appropriately. He goads Rick, teases Carl, and threatens to put Maggie out of her misery. In the final moments Negan ultimately decides …. he can’t decide. A tense rendition of eenie meenie miney moe begins. We see Lucille hover over each of our beloved cast members while Negan chants along. He stops and we switch POV, Lucille hovering above us before we fade to black as the first swing connects.

WHAT???!!!!! We’ve waited months for his arrival, we’ve wondered and speculated, argued and debated. Our answer is this – no answer at all. We should all be used to The Walking Dead teasing us and toying with our emotions; it doesn’t make it any more palatable when it happens. We are left to continue our debates, letting our fears build until The Walking Dead returns for another season. Our gang is still in dire straits. Morgan and Carol seem to be the obvious choice to come save the day, but with the state Carol is in that seems unlikely.Last
we saw her she was shot up and wanting to die. However the armored soldiers which are possibly helping her and Morgan might play a vital role. It is a given that at least one of our own is down for the final count, season seven should open up with a bang. In the end we are left with months of questioning all over again.

The biggest question may be is all this worth it? Are the writers and producers of The Walking Dead leaving us on a cliffhanger just because they can? Time will tell if viewership stays the same or begins to decline. We haven’t lost a core member of the group for a while and it’s possible the edge is being lost. Ultimately we won’t have any of those answers until season seven begins in the fall.  All we really are left knowing is that Negan is here and showing no mercy.

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